O.K. That was a bit of a time lapse! I want to write here at least once a month! I completely missed Dec. To catch up, soon after the last time I posted I was invited to Australia by my brother to help him out where he works. I had to make a split- second decision. Having just read _Jump Into Life_ by Arnaud Desjardin, I didn't hesitate. Despite an expired passport, missing Thanskgiving and being utterly unsure of my skills, I went! It was wonderful. Got to see my brother play baseball, saw he and Naomi in their beautiful home!!! Summer there; ferry rides; learned I'm a lot more capable than I'd feared... Now to get the boys there. I found out about a zoo in a place called Dobbo where you can drive or bike through safari animals and even camp there. Sounds cooler than Steve irwin's Australia Zoo and a lot closer to Naomi and Kenneth. But a visit to Nicolas' dad in Belgium needs to happen first. It's been five years!
We went to NC for a week right before Christmas and we hit a dead deer an hour before we would have reached Fontana Village. The car wouldn't start. We ended up at a Comfort Inn for two nights where there was nothing in walking distance but bad fast food and WALMART. It was interesting. Mostly I was grateful that we weren't hurt and that the car and hotel were covered by insurance! We would go to Walmart as a field trip. We bought a chess set and Yatzee and played a lot of games. The guys swam twice a day in the hotel pool. Then we rented a car to get to the cabin. It was a the top of a winding road known as "The tail of the Dragon". Once we finally arrived, we found ourselves in a ghost town. There was miniature golf which I was not brave enough to play in the bitter cold - but the boys were! I cooked a lot, way more than I had been at home, and I read. The highlight was a virgin forest that we visited called Joyce Kilmer. We saw amazing bunches of giant untouched Poplars and Hemlocks, among others. It was magical there. unfortunately it was also freezing and the kids had refused to bring their warm coats out of the cabin so they were miserable and our visit was pretty short! We will have to return there one summer.
Christmas was nice and quiet. We went with Poppy to A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve and then hung out with he and Dina for awhile at their place. In the middle of the night, Jesse and Gillen came to our bed just in time to hear a rolling crash on the roof! Santa? We all looked at one another wide-eyed and then decided we'd better pretend to be asleep or he might leave. Nicolas thinks it may have been squirrels and their nuts, but he's not sure.
This new year has me cooking and freezing lots of food and finally putting some order in our life. Jesse is Yu Gi Oh crazed and is going to start dueling at a yugioh store soon. Gillen is drawing amazing birds and he and Nicolas have cut down huge amounts of wild bushes (mostly privet) on one side of the house in preparation to make a bird garden. Gillen also wants a fountain for another bird garden in another part of the yard. I want to create a beautiful garden before Bhu and Matt's wedding. So it looks like we'll all be spening a lot of time in the dirt hereat home. As far as the farm, Nicolas is putting up even more greenhouses. He had tomatoes until just a few weeks ago! I roasted a bunch of his root vegetables and discovered that rosted turnips are one of my favorite foods on earth. So sweet.
One more huge piece of news! Not only my sister is getting married but Nicolas' brother Damien is getting married this year as well! I love his fiancee, Stacy, and we're all very excited.
That's enough for now. Hopefully I'll have pictures soon.